Make an effort to do something new this weekend with your kids. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new together. Even if your kids are adults. It’s easy to fall into the typical weekend routine. But what a great opportunity to try something new. Find those teachable moments. And also, just listen. Let your kids speak and hear what they have to say. Ask some deep and tough questions. Our daughter is two and I love asking her opinion on deep philosophical issues. I actually learn quite a bit. This is your weekend challenge. Let me know what you guys are up to, and share some stories of the crazy things you did or the funny stuff your kids said.
Last night I posted some thoughts I’ve recently had about patience. It’s still on my mind because I know that subject relates to so many dads.
Before our kids were born, I had so many ambitions and dreams of what I wanted to do. But when our daughter was born, something changed drastically. I knew that all I wanted to be was a dad. Since then I have given up a lot of things, simply so I could be with kids more. I rarely get out on adventures. I make a lot less money than I used to. I’ve sold off toys and gadgets and shelved hobbies. My career path has for the better part of 3 years been a little scattered.
Oh but how rich our family time is. I’m home often, heading to the zoo rather than the office. Even this morning I planned to leave the house by 730 but our family breakfast time was too good to leave. I choose this moment over burning a few calories at the gym and crushing some emails. I’ll get to them, but not until after these memories are made and my kids know they are valued more than clients. My kids don’t care how many toys they have and how big the house is. They’d rather eat ramen then steak. All they care about is when is mommy and daddy coming home from work so we can play. If your kids stop getting excited when I get home, I have royally hosed up. Why bust my tail my whole life so they can have a good life, when all they want is time with you?
It is kind of like skiing. All this anticipation of shredding and when you get there you have to sit on a chair and wait, freezing your berries. But then we summit and start flying. Then we have to sit on another chair for a different length of time. It all comes in seasons.
God knows our passion and visions, and he won’t forget about them. But in this season, no matter how old the kids are, they, and my wife, must remain priority over my own ambitions.
I was thinking about the word patience on the way to Seattle this am. I have found myself so impatient many times with my kids. Always wanting them to hurry up, eat faster, quit Lallygagging… I quickly forget that each second they are developing and learning something new. Yet I always want to rush it. So I was trying to figure out why I get so impatient.
I realized that I have all these plans and goals and work to do; many tasks vying for my attention. But then I realized that in this exact season, all those things need to wait. All those dreams and passions need to be put on hold, because there is something much more important at stake. They aren’t dead, just on pause. They are hung on the rack for a moment. I need to be in the moment during every moment for my kids right now as they are developing.
It won’t always be that way, but right now it needs to be. Eventually they will be off to school and I’ll have the time and rest to pursue those things. But right now, I need to enjoy every single moment.
I saw a guy complaining on FB the other day about the monotony of bedtime routine. Many dads would agree. Sometimes that routine lasts 4 hours in our family from dinner to zzzz’s. So I took steps to make it more enjoyable. Deleted apps off my phone (twit, FB) that would call for my attention, found a book that we all could enjoy reading, and told myself to chill. For those that can’t miss their show, just hit the record button. There is nothing else that needs my attention. Everything can wait, and I need to simply be patient. It didn’t take long for me to learn to love this season, bed-time routine and all!
I saw this really cool video yesterday about the life of @jeremycowart, a legendary photographer of our time. He talked about the legacy we leave our children. That some day, our kids will be able to google every tweet, see every photo posted, and hear our digital voice.
Since our daughter Monroe (2.5) was born, I have kept a daily journal of our family shenanigans. Basically a daily log, some memories, and a chance to write how I am feeling or the things that are on my mind.
I come from a family of photographers, so my history is flooded with photo memories of our entire lives. But the one thing missing is the voice. I have an epic collection of slides from my grandfather’s meanderings, but I would love to have a journal to hear the stories.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your genealogy, where you came from, who went before you, and what you leave behind. Find a creative way for you to share what you have learned with your kids. Write a book, journal, story tell in podcasts, make vlogs… Do something that will last so that your kids can see who you really are, and so they can hold on to those lessons and fall back on them when they get stuck.
How do you preserve your legacy? We’d love to hear your ideas!
To all the dads! It’s been on my heart lately to share some of my failures and triumphs as a dad with fellow dads. Fatherhood has been an incredible season. And I have learned so much. But my oldest is just under 3, so I’m no pro. This is simply my heart and experiences as they happen.
Thanks for joining in this journey. Let this be a two way street. I want to hear your thoughts, dreams, failures, encouragement for other dads… It takes a village of dudes banded together to figure this thing out. Much love.